Types of Massage. In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, adapted specifically to the needs of athletes. Among the many other examples are deep tissue massage and trigger point massage, which focuses on myofascial trigger points — muscle “knots” that are painful when pressed and can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.

What do massage therapists do in treating patients?

Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, studios, and sport and fitness facilities. Some also travel to patients’ homes or workplaces. They usually try to provide a calm, soothing environment.

Therapists usually ask new patients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results. They may also perform an evaluation through touch, to locate painful or tense areas and determine how much pressure to apply.

Typically, the patient lies on a table, either in loose-fitting clothing or undressed (covered with a sheet, except for the area being massaged). The therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on the skin. Sometimes, people receive massage therapy while sitting in a chair. A massage session may be fairly brief, but may also last an hour or even longer.

How does massage therapy affect the body?

Although scientific research on massagetherapy — whether it works and, if so,how — is limited, there is evidence that massage may benefit some patients. Conclusions generally cannot yet be drawn about its effectiveness for specific health conditions.

http://www.medicinenet.com/massage_therapy/page2.htm

♦ Hot stone therapy: In this, the therapist places smooth and water heated stones on certain parts of the body. The heat that is generated by the stone works fine on the body and is especially very effective during winter.
♦ Thai traditional massage: It is a dry massage that incorporates stretching of body parts which improves the blood circulation of the body.
♦ Shiatsu: It is another dry massage which only focusses on the release of muscle tension, which ultimately gives you deep relaxation. It is a Japanese technique, which involves working on back body with pressure.
♦ Traditional Balinese: It is an oil-based massage — a combination of acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy. It helps you during winters by stimulating circulation. The problem of joint pain is also taken care of.

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